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11/21 Football  Firth vs West Side
11/21 Football  Raft River vs Oakley

 
High School Football Quarterfinal Preview
Here are 10 matchups that will shape what this year's semifinals will look like
Published: 11/5/2020 1:49:40 PM
 


Click here for complete 2020 football tournament brackets.

Rigby vs. Eagle
7 p.m. Friday
Listen Live


The East meets the Treasure Valley this weekend, with a pair of matchups stealing the headlines at the 5A level.

The Trojans, while playing without many starters from last year’s championship run, still look in title shape heading into the quarterfinals. Rigby sat out the first round of the playoffs, earning a bye after winning the District 5-6 Conference. Rust shouldn’t be a problem, as Rigby hasn’t lost a game since the 2018 playoffs. 

That’s not to say the Trojans haven’t faced serious tests this year. Post Falls lost a two-point bought to open in-state play for Rigby, and Highland fell by just one touchdown in mid-October. Quarterback Ben Ford might be the most prolific signal caller to face the Rigby defense this season. Ford made the most impact on the ground against an underhanded Thunder Ridge, scoring five rushing touchdowns. 

IdahoSports.com will audio broadcast Friday’s game. Click here to listen. 

Rocky Mountain vs. Highland
7 p.m. Friday
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The Grizzlies are another team enjoying a one-week break before entering the playoffs. Rocky Mountain stomped Capital to secure a 5A Southern Idaho Conference title two weeks ago. In that game, quarterback Kobe Warr threw for 236 yards and four touchdowns, highlighting a well-balanced offense at the Grizzlies’ disposal. 

For the Rams, Kaleb Demuzio continues to be the commander in chief, running for 242 yards last week in a 42-28 win over Meridian. But Durham isn’t the only one making plays for Highland. Quarterback Easton Durham, after not starting under center at the beginning of the season, ran for three touchdowns and threw another two against the Warriors. 

Century vs. Bishop Kelly
7 p.m. Friday
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The Pocatello Indians looked to be the rising 4A stars out of the east. That is until Bishop Kelly came to town. The Knight blew out Poky 35-0, with Keegan Croteau throwing for 220 yards. Bishop Kelly found itself in the playoffs by virtue of a second-place finish in the SIC. The Knights haven’t lost since Week 1 against Emmett. 

The Diamondbacks traveled a more unique road to the playoffs, winning all their 4A matchups throughout the year, most notably a 28-14 victory over Pocatello for the conference championship. Century’s three losses on the season came against 3A Sugar-Salem and 5A Highland and Thunder Ridge. 

Against Lakeland last week, Century narrowly escaped thanks to a fourth-quarter field goal by Brayden Stouse. Quarterback McKean Romreill finished with 168 yards and a touchdown, while Zac Snow ran for 98 yards and another score. 

IdahoSports.com will live webcast Friday’s game. Click here to watch.

Nampa vs. Skyline
7 p.m. Friday
Watch Live


The Bulldogs won a thriller against the Middleton Vikings in the opening round of the tournament, and their reward will be facing the top-ranked team in the 4A classification.

Nampa’s Lance Hanna booted a 42-yard game-winning field goal late to put his team into the quarterfinals last week. Quarterback Isaak Plew ran for three touchdowns Friday, but the Bulldog defense allowed 346 passing yards.

That mark may prove to be a deal-breaker, as quarterback Cade Marlow has an arm capable of making the difference. Marlow helped Skyline gain 330 yards of offense against Twin Falls while allowing just 48 for the Bruins. 

IdahoSports.com will live webcast Friday’s game. Click here to watch.

Sugar-Salem vs. Weiser
1 p.m. Saturday
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Oct. 16.

That’s the last time the Wolverine defense allowed a single point in a game. Weiser, a third-place finisher in the 3A Snake River Valley Conference, shut out Parma and second-place Fruitland to close out the year, winning both matchups by a combined 84-0 margin. 

Fruitland managed just 104 yards of offense. The defense’s most notable contributions came in giving quarterback Brett Spencer and the offense fantastic field position courtesy of two Kooper von Brethorst interceptions.

But Sugar-Salem, the defending 3A state champion, comes in as the second-ranked squad on the bracket. The Diggers scraped by into the tournament after a Kansas City Playoff determined the outcome of the Mountain Rivers Conference. 

IdahoSports.com will live webcast Saturday’s game. Click here to listen.

South Fremont vs. Gooding
4 p.m. Friday
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A marquee matchup in 3A will take place a day early, with the Senators and Cougars facing off Thursday. 

South Fremont was the other Mountain Rivers Team to emerge victorious from the Kansas City Playoffs, capping off an unexpectedly successful season that saw the Cougar defeat Sugar-Salem earlier in the year. 

Gooding, despite just one loss in 2020, has proved volatile at times. The Senators were upset by Declo 32-12 midway through the year and scraped by Jerome to open the season. But since their loss to the Hornets, Gooding has rattled off four straight wins, including a 36-35 nailbiter against No. 3 Kimberly. 

IdahoSports.com will live webcast Friday’s game. Click here to watch.

Declo vs. Melba
6 p.m. Friday


The Hornets haven’t played a game in three weeks, with a forfeit by Wendell a first-round playoff bye giving Declo plenty of rest before Friday’s matchup.

Declo’s offense has rolled through the regular season, scoring above 50 in four of their last five matchups. The Hornets scored a season-high 76 against Valley at the start of October. Quarterback Gabe Matthews leads the charge with 1,538 rushing yards on the year, with 21 rushing touchdowns and six passing touchdowns. 

The Mustangs also enjoyed a first-round bye in the playoffs, thanks to their No. 5 MaxPreps ranking. Melba defeated Grangeville to close out the year. In that game, Zane Helm gained 146 yards on 14 carries, tacking on a receiving touchdown. 

Firth vs. Bear Lake
3 p.m. Friday


The Cougars defeated the Bears earlier this season 40-19, but the 2020 season has drastically changed the trajectory of both team’s paths to the playoffs. 

Firth also dropped a 33-6 contest to top-ranked West Side to start the year. Bear Lake, ranked sixth, gave its all against the state champion Pirates, losing 7-0. The Bears also lost an overtime thriller to Soda Springs mid-October, but Firth stomped the Cardinals 48-0 in Week 2. 

Bear quarterback Owen Teuscher has more than 2,000 yards under his belt this season, throwing 27 touchdowns compared to six interceptions in a pass-focused offensive scheme. The Panthers utilize a running back committee to light up the scoreboard with Jason Tucker, Sam Park and quarterback Gage Vasquez all garnering more than 400 yards this year. 

Prairie vs. Grace
6 p.m. Friday
Watch Live


In four years, the Pirates have lost just two games. The pair of “Ls” both came in Prairie’s season openers, meaning Ryan Hasslestrom’s squads get hot at just the right moment. 

In the absence of Cole Martin, who went down with an injury earlier in the year, Brody Hasslestrom and quarterback Cole Schlader have picked up the slack in the backfield. Through five games, the pair combined for 27 touchdowns and 1,116 yards. 

The Grizzlies haven’t had near the sustained success of Prairie in 2020. Grace defeated Clearwater Valley 59-42 in Round 1 but has lost three 1ADI matchups against Oakley, Raft River and Butte County. 

IdahoSports.com will live webcast Friday’s game. Click here to watch.

Garden Valley vs. Carey
2:30 p.m. Friday
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While Prairie enjoys its dynasty in 1ADI, the Panthers could possibly reclaim their own in 1ADII with Lighthouse Christian out of the picture. Carey blew past Rockland 88-12 in Round 1, with countless interceptions giving the Panthers fantastic field position last Thursday. 

Carey came into the playoffs second in the conference, as strict COVID-19 regulations in Blaine County kept the Panthers from participating in conference games throughout the year. 

Garden Valley, meanwhile, has the talent to challenge a dominant Panther squad. The Wolverines are undefeated on the year and have pestered Carey in statewide top-five rankings all season. 

The Wolverines rely on one connection for the bulk of their offensive production — quarterback Corban Fields to receiver Josh Gillespie. The pair have accounted for 15 touchdowns and more than 1,000 yards this season, with Covy Kelly being the only receiver with anything remotely close (553 yards and eight touchdowns).

IdahoSports.com will live webcast Friday’s game. Click here to watch.



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